Scripting News for 7/28/07

118,254 RSS feeds 

Last week I met with the founders of a young Emeryville company named Persai Research, and they told me about a project to gather a huge collection of feeds.

They just sent me a link to a zip file containing over a hundred thousand feeds.

http://research.persai.com/persai_feedcorpus.zip

And stay tuned to this blog for more information about the company.

Today’s links 

NY Times pumps Pownce.

An idea of what it’s like to have a neighbor who, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, has a construction crew tearing out their foundation.

Lifehacker on timelines from RSS feeds.

Fred Wilson is staying with Facebook, not declaring bankruptcy. Me, I never accepted it as a liability. Jason Calacanis gave up yesterday.

Nice thing about Twitter is that unlike Facebook, it doesn’t demand anything of you. I like that.

Doc Searls turns 60 tomorrow. Heard it on Twitter.

Rex Hammock: “Facebook is a sandbox I’m playing in — but it has a long way to go before it can hope to be the world I live in.”

Barry Bonds hit a home run last night, and is one away from tying the record.

NPR piece on MP3 blogs. Next time I want to share a song with readers of this blog, I think I’m going to do it.

Overheard at last night’s party 

One of the cool things about parties like the one last night is that ideas spread like colds in a kindergarten classroom.

And sometimes product leak, and like the game of telephone we played in kindergarten, are enhanced and tweaked with every telling.

Luckily there’s one more party, tonight, on Potrero Hill in San Francisco (a neighborhood made interesting by Marc Canter, many years ago), to transmit and repurpose last night’s lies and innuenda. :-)

Marc, of course, won’t be there. He’s in Italy, not returning until Gnomedex, which is less than two weeks away. Yet another oppty to mix it up!

Scripting News? 

From time to time people ask what this site has to do with Scripting News.

I shrug it off, saying “It’s just a name.”

I don’t stop to explain because many people who think in terms of scripting languages think linearly and only in one direction. A site named Scripting News must contain news about scripting, right?

But what if the name describes what the author does when creating the software that manages the site? And further, if he shares that software with other people so that this site becomes a focus of the activity of applying scripting to the area of news?

What would you think about that?

Back in the beginning people would have thought I was out of my mind. :-)

Scripting news? Why would anyone want to do that.

But today, many years later, news is the subject of much scripting.

So there you have it.

PS: Sometimes when I say the name of site in my own mind it comes out like this: “Scripting Jews.” Same logic. :-)

A drive down Whiskey Hill 

I was early arriving at the party so I decided to drive by the back end of my old hacienda in Woodside, the one I sold in 2003 as I was moving east.

I sold it to a neighbor with plans to build a megahouse with a huge outdoor entertainment complex, and he needed the extra acres so he would comply with Woodside’s strict zoning laws.

I already knew, from Google Maps, that he tore down my old house, and that he had never built the huge house he planned to build. There must be a story. Illness, a death or divorce? Or he just got busy or lazy, or ran out of money?

I didn’t have the heart to drive up to the front entrance and see what the land looked like without the house.

It was an old house, constructed in many projects over many years. Some of the contruction was excellent, some of it terribly bad. All the roofs leaked at one time or another. Each segment of the house had its own roof, a different style, as if the builder were experimenting to find the least reliable form of roofing (if so, he found it, a flat tar roof with a skylight). But I loved the house nonetheless. It had a charm to it. And around this time of year, bees (which are really yellowjackets).

Yesterday, as I approached the property from Whiskey Hill Road, the first surprise was to find that Joan Baez’s house is for sale. And then the really big surprise, the property of the guy who bought my property is for sale too! Wow. If I had enough money I could buy it back. Heh. No way of course, Berkeley is a fine place, and I’m sure I can’t afford it. But it was a lovely place to live. And it’s great to see that the story keeps evolving even when I’m not there. I bet Jamis at Bucks knows what’s going on there, assuming he still owns Bucks after all this time? :-)

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by eas on July 28, 2007 at 10:26 am

    ironically, and iritatingly, that NPR piece is only available in Real and Windows media formats, so I can’t listen on my iPhone. Whats worse, they do manage to show me an ad

    Reply

  2. Posted by Kevin Newman on July 28, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Re: timelines from RSS feeds – You might also be interested in SIMILE from MIT, which creates timlines from XML data using javascript. http://simile.mit.edu/timeline/

    Reply

  3. Here’s an MP3 version of the show.

    http://tinyurl.com/2c97jl

    Seems appropriate given the topic. :-)

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anton2000 on July 28, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Hello Dave,

    Noise seems to be especially annoying next day after partying.

    Reply

  5. As someone who may be subjecting neighbors to that noise soon, maybe I’ll stock up on wine to give out as kind gestures.

    My license plate says DO SCRPT, and I’ve always described it as both a command in AppleScript (I don’t bother with the underlying Apple Event for most) and an imperative to the reader. Of course, only a few people get the full joke, relative to the many who see it on the road. And I often get the question, “Are you a screenwriter?” Which, prompted by your Scripting News thoughts, I could say that, yes, I do write on a screen.

    Reply

  6. Posted by vanni on July 28, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    “is one away from tying the record.” What record would that be? I can’t recall which steroid fuled home run record he is about to break…

    Reply

  7. re: names: I originally found Scripting News because I was looking for info about AppleScript… didn’t find any, but stuck around because RSS looked kind of interesting :-)

    Reply

  8. Posted by Solo on July 28, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    More vital than the name of the site: the icon! If the cactus must go, the new icon must say something. What is it, a hubcap?

    I know, the world is going to hell in a handbasket and this is a silly thing to bother with. Nevertheless, one reader’s vote is to return it or improve on it.

    Reply

  9. “They just sent me a link to a zip file containing over a hundred thousand feeds”

    I fail to see how that is useful to you (or me). I presume you will throw some light on this in your future post that will provide more information on the company?

    Reply

  10. People who are writing search engines or directories need “seeds” to get their crawls started. Not saying that’s what the company is creating, but just to give an example. It’s not directly useful for users. But the results of the crawls may well be.

    Reply

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